21 Jul Growth Hormone Stimulator Decreased Abdominal and Liver Fat in HIV Patients
MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Steven Grinspoon, MD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism
Co-Director, Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Grinspoon: The primary finding is that tesamorelin, a hypothalamic peptide that increases the endogenous pulsatile secretion of growth hormone, reduced liver fat in HIV-infected patients with increased visceral (abdominal) fat. Increased visceral fat is very closely linked with increased liver fat in HIV patients, but the effects on liver fat were not known. Our data show that tesamorelin reduces liver fat in conjunction with decreasing visceral fat, which may be clinically important for patients with HIV-infection who have both increased abdominal fat and fatty liver disease. In addition the study demonstrated that this treatment strategy was neutral to glucose by the end of the 6 month study.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Grinspoon: The improvement in one index of liver inflammation, (AST or SGOT) was interesting to see. This result implies that there may be a functional improvement in liver inflammation with reductions in liver fat. Future studies are needed to determine this.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Grinspoon: For those HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy with abdominal fat accumulation, many of whom demonstrate increased liver fat, use of tesamorelin will simultaneously improve liver fat.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Grinspoon: This strategy should be tested specifically among those chosen for excess liver fat (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD). These studies should determine whether such a strategy simultaneously decreases liver fat and inflammation in these patients.
Stanley TL, Feldpausch MN, Oh J, et al. Effect of Tesamorelin on Visceral Fat and Liver Fat in HIV-Infected Patients With Abdominal Fat Accumulation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2014;312(4):380-389. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8334.